Half staff

Discussion in 'Half Mast / Half Staff' started by crawfordr8, May 7, 2007.

  1. crawfordr8

    crawfordr8 Guest

    This may be splitting hairs, but when a flag is displayed at "half staff", what specific part of the flag is at the halfway point of the staff? The top of the flag (where it is attached to the rope), the middle of the flag, the bottom (where it is attached to the rope), the bottom-most tip of the flag (with no wind blowing)?
     
  2. NAVA1974

    NAVA1974 Active Member

    This is not specified in the flag code. Indeed, the custom of lowering flags in mourning began by lowering the flag by the width of the flag itself. The idea was that you were leaving space for "death's flag" to fly at the top. Ie, death was victorious. When this practice began, most flags were displayed from ships or buildings - there were no such things as flagpoles in front of single-family homes. So when the flag was lowered in the manner I described, it appeared to be lowered half-way. Today, when 60 foot stand-alone flag poles are not uncommon, lowering a flag by nearly 30 feet is unnecessary. It should only be lowered by a quarter to a third of the height of the pole depending on the size of the flag.
     
  3. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    This is not specified in the flag code.

    Actually it is, sort of, in Section 7:

    "(1) the term “half-staffâ€￾ means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff."

    Nick is right that this would not look very good on a 60-foot pole. This is another example of how somebody reworded the flag code without thinking through what they were doing.

    crawfordr8's original question was what specific part of the flag is to be at the halfway point. Here I'd agree with the thrust of Nick's comments -- do whatever looks good based on the situation.

    When half-masting flags on my own 3 poles, I've found that it's surprisingly difficult to get them all at the same height. I have to put them up, walk out to the curb to look at them from a distance, and then come back and make adjustments.

    Peter Ansoff
     
  4. iconjax2006

    iconjax2006 Guest

    Do we fly the flag at half mass on 9-11 ?
     
  5. iconjax2006

    iconjax2006 Guest

    Re: 9-11

    iconjax2006;4250]Do we fly the flag at half mass on 9-11 ? or did we stop doing this.
     
  6. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Do we fly the flag at half mass on 9-11 ?

    Yes, we do. The President has issued a proclamation each year directing government agencies to do so, and encouraging other citizens to follow suit. He issued the latest one on September 4th of this year.

    Peter Ansoff
     
  7. JohnEB

    JohnEB New Member

    When displaying the US Flag at half staff, it is my understanding that the State flag, a company flag, and or any other flags must also be flown at half mast. Such other flags should never be higher than the US Flag. Can this information be confirmed as fact?
     
  8. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    When displaying the US Flag at half staff, it is my understanding that the State flag, a company flag, and or any other flags must also be flown at half mast. Such other flags should never be higher than the US Flag. Can this information be confirmed as fact?

    Hi, John -- welcome!

    4 USC 1 Ch. 1 Sec. 7 says "No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America . . ." It does not specifically say that this applies when the US flag is at half-staff, but logic would suggest that it does.

    Regards,

    Peter Ansoff
     

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